Study Abroad but Network at Home

By the time he started his Classical Chinese classes at George Washington University, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga had baseball victories over the Fudan high school team and Chinese terminology for the Korean nuclear crisis under his belt! He describes how his early interest in Chinese language, culture, politics and people led him to study abroad on four programs back to back and then pursue a master’s degree with Peking University and the London School of Economics. Add to all this international internships with reputable think tanks and a handful of publications and he was set up to easily find a great job when he came back to DC, right? Wrong. Looking back, Nathan shares why he struggled to find a position in foreign policy and analyzes the short-term and long-term benefits of building professional skills abroad versus networking locally. He poses a series of important questions for recent grads trying to discern what to do next and how to do it.

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga is a Project Associate and China specialist at the RAND Corporation. His recent research focus is Chinese foreign policyCET003 Nathan RAND Photo, China-North Korea relations, China’s One Belt One Road, and Chinese bureaucratic politics. Prior to joining RAND, Nathan was the Editor of China Brief at The Jamestown Foundation, a biweekly publication focusing on strategic China-related issues utilizing indigenous language sources. He has also spent time with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University (CISS) under Wang Jisi and Zhu Feng, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).

We would love to hear from you! Please send your questions and comments to [email protected]